Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Archive for May, 2011

ATI’s Akita Adujstable Hunting Stock – One stock for all?

Advanced Technology International (ATI) has been making aftermarket accessories for many years. Especially in the market of plastic/polymer aftermarket stocks for all sorts of classic military rifles such as SKS’, Enfields, and Mosin Nagants. They also dabbled into the tactical aftermarket for shotguns with top folding stocks as well as collapsing stocks that were based on those used on AR15/M16 Carbines. Not content with the tactical aftermarket for popular shotgun brands, ATI decided to venture a product which can be used in the casual hunting market. A very much adjustable stock replacement set for common shotgun models. That product line is known as the Akita Adjustable Stock and currently are manufactured to be mounted on the following varieties of Shotguns.

  • Mossberg 500/535/590/835, 12 Gauge
  • Maverick 88, 12 Gauge
  • Winchester 1200/1300/SXP, 12 Gauge
  • Remington 870, 12 Gauge (& Norinco Clones)
  • Ithaca 37, 12 & 20 Gauge
  • CZ 712, 12 Gauge

The CZ 712 version can currently only order the adjustable butt stock portion, the other listed shotguns are covered with the basic Akita sets. However newer Mossberg’s & Mavericks (post 2006) cannot use the Akita forend due to action bars being molded into the forend tube).

The Tactical 500

Current Mossberg 500 & new 28" barrel

The Akita reviewed by TPF is Model AHS0100, which contains both buttstock and forearm and can and will be used to change-up the author’s Mossberg 500 from an old-fashioned tactical version to a more dual purpose shotgun. The current Mossberg 500 stared life as a typical 28″ version complete with wood buttstock and forend, which has for the last several years been outfitted with an older ATI set of furniture. However, all components have been kept as those at TPF are pack rats in regards to firearms related items. The only complaint the author had with the old system was that there was no adjustment for the comb of the stock. The design put the stock’s collapsing tube to such a high elevation that the author could not line up the beads with the top of the receiver. Later versions came with a wedge which allowed for the whole buttstock to be shifted downwards on assembly.


Mossberg 500 internal components and barrel options (Top Half), ATI Akita Stock Set (Mid-Left), Old ATI Tactical Stock Set (Mid-Right), Original Stock Set (Bottom)


Detail of Akita Buttstock

The common version of the Akita comes with multiple mounting components which allow for component mounting on a variety of receivers and action bars/forend. Thankfully the instructions provided with the Akita are simple and clear, so that nearly all shotgun owners should be able to do the conversion themselves. The Akita stock has a four position extendable length of pull that has a range between 315mm to 365mm (12-3/8″ to 14-3/8″) and is simply operated by pressing up on the recessed lever and pulling or pushing the tail end of the stock to one of the four desired lengths before releasing the lever to lock it into place. The buttstock itself includes a sling swivel stud and a decent looking recoil pad. Included on the rear stock is an adjustable cheek rest which has nearly 13mm (1/2″) of variation, and is modified by removal of two cover plugs and the corresponding screws underneath them (one on each side). Adjustment is done by pulling the rest backwards it unlocks the check piece from the adjustment grooves and then the piece is elevated to a more ideal height. Re-install the screws and replace the cover plugs. All done. This specific build required that the cheek piece remained at the factory preset which equates to the lowest possible elevation.


Detail of cheek rest adjustment, shown at highest elevation

 As an individual who has had much experience mechanically and with machines, the entire process for converting to the Akita was very simple. On top of the brand adaptors for the buttstock and the additional spacers/mounts for the forend, the Akita kit also included a sheet metal key/wrench to use on the forend retaining nut. HOWEVER! There were two areas which the author can see as being problematic for the DIY individual.

  1. First was the actual mounting of the rear stock to the receiver.  In order to install the stock you need to remove the butt place/recoil pad, then remove the adjustment lock, and slide off  the back portion of the collapsing stock to expose the mounting area for the remaining front portion of the stock. Now up to this point the efforts to disassemble and prep are very simple to do. At this point a socket on an extension must be used and is less simple in trying to align, install  and torque the stock retaining bolt into the receiver. I needed to shim inside my socket to ensure the bolt did not slide back into the socket during line up and initial threading into the receiver. Second, the angle which the bolt resides during tightening is not straight and requires a very small universal or flexible extension. The author used a 1/4″ socket driver with a 6″ flex extension to install and torque the bolt. Re-assembly of the components was as simple as the initial removal.
  2. The second trouble spot was the installation of the forend components onto the action bar assembly. While installation of the rear portion of the forearm was easy, putting in the front portion required some small tapping with a hammer to ensure that the adaptor was fully seated. Not really an issue, but when everything else goes so smoothly…
Akita Mounted

Akita Adjustable Hunting Stock, Original and Older ATI Tactical comparison

The biggest concern now is that the author will need to relearn how to shoot without a pistol grip stock, but that is a challenge being looked forwards to. Since obtaining this product from ATI in the spring of 2010, some design changes have occurred. (Yes, TPF has stockpiling items for reviewing, many months in advance. Some are still waiing on a firearm to mount on…) A newer, more absorbing recoil pad has been included as part of the Akita Stock and there are over a dozen varieties of colouration/camouflage available as of the time of this posting.

The reviewed Akita Adjustable Hunting Stock/Forend Kit in black is available from Brownells at a MSRP of $159.99 USD, with the camouflage  having an MSRP of $179.99 USD. Canadian retailers like Ellwood Epps and Al Simmons are among the many Canadian gun stores where the Akita can be ordered in all options.

Advanced Technology International’s Akita Adjustable Hunting Stock – Practical, Tactical or Fanstastical?


Original buttstock Comparison


Original forend Comparison


Older ATI Tactical Comparison

The Showdown! – Multitasker Ultralight vs. Gerber eFECT

Ultralight vs eFECT

Multitasker's Ultralight Vs. Gerber's eFECT

It was a statistical given and was only a matter of time as TPF has given an overview of both AR-15 specific tools in the past. Multitasker’s Ultralight and Gerber’s eFECT are good tools in themselves and are both quality products. However, in this installation of TPF we will be comparing the similar features of both tools and focusing on the differences between them. We will be reviewing various categories and features and giving our opinions. GASP! That is correct, TPF will be rating both on various features and details. So without further ado, let TPF’s first showdown begin!

PHYSICAL SIZE:  The Ultralight, while narrower than the eFECT, is longer by nearly 25mm (1″) and is heavier by nearly half again.

Carbon Scraper

Carbon Scraper, Ultralight on left

TOOL ARMS: Ultralight 4, eFECT 6. However, two of the eFECT’s arms are for attachments.

  • Front sight adjustment tool. The eFECT has a switchable bit for either 4 or 5 prong AR-15 front sights, where the Ultralight only comes with a 4 prong (A2) version.
  • Carbon scraper. The Ultralight has a design which is dedicated to cleaning of the bolt from the AR platform, where the eFECT has a large, very effective scraper for any long linear areas.
  • Flat screwdriver. Both tools have a large flat tip screwdriver, the eFECT’s being mounted to have a decent reach for tight fits. The Ultralight’s version is meant more for surface usage (tightening of slotted nuts and screws for attachments). Both can double as an additional carbon scraper.
  • Attachment arms.  The eFECT has two (2) with female threads versus the single male threaded version of the Ultralight.
  • eFECT ONLY: A dedicated push pin arm.
  • Ultralight ONLY: First. Part of the screwdriver arm incorporates a butt stock castle nut wrench for field tightening of the aforementioned nut. Second, as briefly mentioned, the one arm is a dedicated 1/4″ hex bit driver.
Showdown Comparison

Screwdriver, Sight Tool, Dental Pick/Otis Attachment (eFECT on left)

LOCK MECHANISM: For each trio of arms on the Gerber, there is a spring loaded sliding lock. Simple and reusable for both sides. The Ultralight uses a combination of lock styles for each individual arm.

CONSTRUCTION: The eFECT is comprised of stainless steel sheet metal for the liners and the stamped punch and screwdriver arms. The remaining 4 arms are cast and held together between two polymer panels. The Ultralight is made from stainless steel and all major components are machined and/or wire EDM’d. The entire package is wrapped in G-10 fiberglass panels and includes a wire EDM’d pocket clip.

Sheath Showdown1

Ultralight (l) vs eFECT (r) - Sheaths


  • eFECT: A Molle compatible sheath. The reversible front sight bit and the dental pick and bristle brush for the attachment arms.
  • Ultralight: A Molle compatible sheath. The A2 sight bit, plus 10 more common bits for the 1/4″ hex driver. Only comes with the dental pick attachment, but is far more robust than that of the eFECT’s.

COST: Multitasker has an MSRP of $74.99 USD versus $79.99 USD for the Gerber eFECT.

So now we do the comparison showdown.

  1. Physical Size – eFECT wins. While the size and heft of the UL makes a more solid and secure feeling tool, the mass alone makes the eFECT the winner for a carried item.
  2. Tool Arms – Ultralight wins. The quantity of tool arms does not quite overcome the sheer robustness and versatility of the UL. The included pick on the eFECT is pitiful compared to the robust one that comes with the UL. Besides, how many OTIS connections can you use at once anyways? One. The bit driver alone puts the UL over the top in this category.
  3. Lock Mechanism – Tie. The UL has very solid locking devices for each of the four arms, but there are 3 different types. The eFECT has a lock for each set of three arms and they are identical. Simplicity versus strength results in a tie.
  4. Construction – UL from manufacturing edge. Both tools are well conceived and manufactured for light maintenance work on the AR platform, the detail to the processes used for construction goes to the UL. Both would most likely hold up to long term everyday usage, and I’m positive that people will break the UL more often due to misusing the castle nut wrench, however, the eFECT has the appearance and feel of being made as cheap as possible through the use of stampings and castings.
  5. Accessories – UL hands down. The inclusion of 10 additional driver bits (with many more customs ones being created) gives the thumbs up to the UL.
  6. Sheath – eFECT, barely… The Gerber eFect sheath is more compact and velcro closing which is good for storage and mounting comfort. The UL sheath is bulky due to the size of the tool and the accessory bits and is a snap enclosed pouch with a more rigid construction.  Comfort edges out apparent robustness.
  7. Cost – UL. Cheaper by $5 USD is pretty self explanatory.

CONCLUSION: Now if you are looking for a smaller more comfortable tool that will still do nearly everything needed for routine maintenance on your AR-15, one would be hard pressed to go wrong with the Gerber eFECT. However! The higher quality manufacturing and the apparent versatility over the eFECT coupled with a lower MRSP make the Ultralight TPF’s chosen winner.

WINNER of the first Tactical, Practical & Fantastical Showdown – Multitasker’s Ultralight

TPF's Choice!

TPF's Choice!

The Canadian Shooting Sports Association – aka CSSA

I joined the CSSA nearly 5 years ago because of a series of events beginning with a desire to find out more about guns and reloading.
Now I have owned various firearms for just over a decade. I’ve since bought firearms and resold them to other licensed individuals all across Canada. I still have my first shotgun sitting in a corner of my gun safe. That Cooey 840, single shot, break-action shotgun has actually shot more flats of 12ga than any other shotgun I have owned since, although my Mossberg 500 is soon catching up. When I bought that Cooey at my first firearm auction, I paid $12.50 for the shotgun and $25 to the government to register it. At that time I had unwittingly given up being a trusted Canadian Citizen by becoming an official firearms owner here. The path of who I am today started there…

The chain of events started in mid-2005 when I was looking for reloading data for my newest acquisition; a dedicated moose rifle chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum… Up until then I had a couple shotguns and a pair of well used .22’s. During the google searching I came across a link to a post in an online forum. That post gave me the beginnings of the reloading bug and a desire to learn even more about all the different firearms out there. That forum was Canadian Gun Nutz, aka CGN. Finding CGN turned out to be both a blessing and a curse, as I began to learn more and more about all sorts of firearms, accessories, reloading, and events, I started to realize just how little actually knew about firearms and realized how much the legislation involved in firearms ownership was geared specifically to deter people from wanting to own or possess them. During the next few months I began to learn about the political side of “gun control” and the decline of firearms owners due to the cost and confusion surrounding the firearms act brought in by 1995’s Bill C-68. It was here that I first came across the organization called the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, or CSSA for short.

In 2006 I had an opportunity to attend the SHOT Show as a guest of a friend I knew… The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show was like a new world to me at the time. Firearms of every shape, size, and calibre was present at the show; from pocket purse pistols, to over/under shotguns worth over $100K apiece… On a whim I decided to attend a gathering in what would become a pivotal point in my life. During the week of the SHOT Show I attended a small gathering hosted by the CSSA. There I met Tony Bernardo, the #1 pro-gun lobbyist in Canada, after talking to him and a couple of others from the CSSA who were in attendance, I joined up on the spot.

The CSSA is the arguably the best pro-firearms organization available in Canada. From their lobby efforts at all levels of Canadian government as well as on the international stage, the CSSA has done extremely well for the limited manpower, and limited finances available for them. Starting in 2000, from a merger of the Ontario Handgun Association and the Ontario Smallbore Federation, when it was deemed that an effective National Voice was required to protect and enhance the rights of the Canadian Firearms Community. Over the years I have found myself more and more in agreement with the actions and activities promoted by the CSSA and since then I have progressed through the ranks of the CSSA. I started as just a member and worked through being a Field Representative, to a Regional Director, and recently elected to the Board of Directors itself. It has been five years since that fateful meeting and since then I have done things and met people I would never have thought possible to do, all in the name of being a Pro-Firearms Advocate.

Some of the things which I have done since:
1. Traveled across the country on behalf of the CSSA, and represented firearms owners across Canada.
2. Meeting the Prime Minister of Canada. Not just once, but several times.
3. Have written and had published hundreds of letters, articles, and reviews associated to firearms.
4. Met and befriended many like-minded individuals, many of whom I would trust my life with.
5. Met the current and past presidents of the NRA, and many other firearms prominent celebrities.
6. Interviewed and conversed with many, many others I would have never otherwise dreamed of approaching, such as actor Thomas Jane (HBO’s Hung, Punisher).

In truth, since that meeting, I have become more self-confident, self-aware, and outgoing, and in my opinion, a much better person.

I love my family and friends, they are the reason I joined the CSSA and decided to volunteer much of my free time. I want my children to be able to do the following:
1. To allow them the ABILITY to use all firearms in a safe responsible manner. If firearms are inaccessible and verboten, nobody can enjoy them legally.
2. To allow them the CHOICE to use firearms if they desire. It is a choice of the individual to use firearms in a responsible manner. If they choose not to use firearms for fun, sport, sustenance, and/or defence; that is their choice. Do NOT assume make that choice for others.

It is these primarily reasons why I am in this fight to protect and enhance our rights in Canada. Help support our efforts. Join the CSSA today!

 And a ringing endorsement by Brian Lovig from the Daily Split!

Gerber Answer 3.25 – SAO with attitude!

Gerber - Answer 3.25

Gerber's Answer - SAO

Several weeks ago, TPF did a review of SOG’s Flash II.  Today a look is given to a version available from another manufacturer; Gerber Legendary Blades. Gerber’s Answer is a spring assisted opening knife, self catagorized as being a “Clip Folder” and appears to be constructed with durability in mind. Gerber SAO’s use what is trademarked as the F.A.S.T. system. From Gerber’s website; F.A.S.T. is “a proprietary name that stands for Forward Action Spring Technology: Spring assisted blade opening mechanism designed for Gerber by custom knife maker Butch Vallotton.”

Gerber - Answer 3.25's Slider

Slider in "Locked" Position

With handles crafted from black anodized aluminium, textured inserts (read skateboard tape) for additional non-slip gripping and sporting an 84mm (3.3″) nitrided stainless steel blade , the very ergonomic Answer has a substantial mass at 153gr (4.9 oz). There are only two controls on the Answer, the first being a saftey/release slider which determines the available actions of the blade. From the closed position the slider can be switched front and back with nearly zero effort. When the red dot is exposed by shifting the slider towards the pivot point, it signifies that the knife safety is disabled (red dot meaning “armed”) and is  GTG (“Good to go”) for opening. When not showing the “armed” dot, the blade is locked into position, irregardless if it is in a closed or open position. In the open position the slider forced into away from the blade pivot and must be actuated in order to release the blade for closing.

The second control is the dual thumb studs on the blade itself for ambidextrous opening which is very simple to acomplish. Use the thumb stud to manouver the blade open to a point where the F.A.S.T. mechanism takes over and locks the blade into open position. Compared to the aforementioned Flash II, the Answer’s opening speed is not as fast, but feels much more solid as it locks into open position which may be a result of not using any obvious polymer/plastics in construction of the knife. The pocket clip for the answer in NOT reversible and is located at the blade pivot, on the opposit side of the slide pivot. This means that when the Answer is clipped into your pocket, the blade pivot side sticks up (AKA Tip Down position). The EDC knife of TPF’s author sits in the same fashion, but some individuals may not desire that orientation.

Gerber - Answer 3.25 opened position

Gerber's Answer 3.25 SAO Knife

The Answer itself has few variations. The model reviewed has a drop point straight edged blade design, however, a sister model of the same blade length and mass is offered with a Tanto blade shape incorporating a partially serrated edge. Two other versions of the Answer also exist. The Answer SM is a smaller version of the model reviewed here with a 71mm (2.8″) blade and massing 81gr (2.6 oz). The Answer XL is the tanto version enlarged to a 102mm (4.0″) blade and massing a hefty 218gr (7.0 oz).

Gerber - Answer Spine view

More branding. "Gerber" on the spine

The Gerber Answer 3.25 reviewed (model# 22-01971) has a MSRP of $72.99USD and is available at a great variety of knife stores across Canada. Like SOG, Gerber allows prospective customers to purchase many (if not all ) products direct from the Gerber website.  The SM and XL versions list for MSRP’s of $63.99USD and $84.99USD respectively.

Gerber Legendary Blades: Answer 3.25 – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?

What a roller-coaster…. Post Election!

Well it was 6 weeks of utter chaos and lack of sleep so TPS apologizes for the delay in posting any new reviews. Helping our local Conservative Party of Canada candidate try to be re-elected for a third term. Some of the activities are as follows:

  • Hundreds and hundreds of lawn signs installed (including TWO on my front lawn)!
  • Canvassing several hundred homes across 96 km^2 (37 miles^2) of riding.
  • Dropping literature at several thousand apartments in the riding.
  • Attending several local region all-canadate debates
  • Attending several local  region campaign rallys (including 3 with the party leader, Stephen Harper, present).
  • The letters written to the various newspapers.
  • Scrutineering on election night to ensure fair & impartial accounting of the votes.

That doesn’t even include the 40 hours a week I work to earn a living, nor the dozens of hours and weekends volunteering for the CSSA during the same 6 week stretch. In the end a victory the Conservative Party of Canada. On May 2nd, 2011, for the election of Canada’s 41st Government, 14,720,580 individuals cast their votes to elect a 308 seat parliament. With 61.4% voter turnout, the CPC won 54.2% of the seats for a clear majority government.

With a majority mandate, the much discussed, heavily debated, Long-Gun Registry should be finally removed after years of promises and a multitude of attempts in a minority government. That means a WIN for the Canadian Firearms Community, and a great first step to responsible, effective firearms legislation which penalizes criminals, not those of us who are law-abiding at heart.

My MP (Member of Parliament), Harold Albrecht, defeated all challengers handily (by over 17,000 votes above either of the two major challengers). However, on what should have been his greatest day of triumph, tragedy struck. After a great leisurely day, Mr. & Mrs. Albrecht finished dinner and were preparing to attend the CPC gathering hoping for a victory party to ensue… Mrs. Albrecht, claimed a sudden severe headache and then passed into unconsciousness. 38 hours later, Mrs. Betty Albrecht passed away from spontaneous intracranial hemorrhaging, more commonly known as a brain aneurysm. When he could have been celebrating his third term elected, Harold and his family were surrounding Betty at a Hamilton hospital, praying for her.

I am sure you will understand that if I state, I would have rather lost the riding than have such events happen to such a great individual. I have only known the Albrechts for the last 5 years, and I am a better person for knowing Harold, Betty and their selfless family. Thank you Harold, for your values, commitment to family, and above all else, your unyielding devotion to your beliefs.

Betty Albrecht, 1952 – 2011Harold & Betty Albrecht

To give you an understanding of how much Betty was loved:

On Valentine’s Day in 2008, Albrecht rose in the House of Commons to pay tribute to his wife.

“While the list of those who have influenced my life and encouraged me along my journey is a long one, there is one person to whom I am most indebted and who deserves great thanks on this very special day: My wife Betty,” he said.

“I will never be able to thank Betty for her faithful commitment over the past 36 years, but today I want her to know how deeply she is loved. I am grateful that God has blessed my life with her as my best friend and wife.”

The two days of visitations had over 1200 individuals attend. At the funeral, several dozen other MP’s and their spouses attended the funeral of Betty Albrecht on their OWN volition. Plus add in Prime Minister of Canada as well as the dozen or so local politico’s (mayor’s councillors, MPP’s, etc…) should give you some idea of how well-respected and loved Harold and Betty were in the community and in Ottawa. The church holding the funeral, regularly seats 900+ people. They had stackable chairs against each other in the aisles and another room opened up downstairs to allow more people to be in attendance, to accommodate nearly 1200 people attending to pay their respects and show their love and support to the Albrecht family… Betty will be missed by many, but never forgotten.